“We found that people had difficulties referring citizens for appropriate social care simply because of the lack of electronic communication between departments and agencies. What's more, the databases in the different agencies were incompatible, so any attempt at developing e-services quickly led to disappointment. At best you could make requests electronically, but the requests then had to be processed manually.”Encouraging interoperability
“Many local authorities in Europe are extremely small and do not have the resources to develop complex solutions for e-services,” Benamou explains. “The TERREGOV platform makes it very simple. A local authority simply registers their specific applications on the system as a web service and TERREGOV more or less takes care of what information is transferred to the regional TERREGOV hub and who can access it.”
The bulk of the implementation falls to the larger regional authority, which has to customise and host the TERREGOV hub, select which e-services to develop and encourage the local authorities to change their working practices and “go electronic”.
The benefits of interoperable systems can be significant. At the regional level, TERREGOV helps public services to be delivered consistently by all local authorities, irrespective of their size, so there is no “postcode discrimination” for citizens. Local authorities, on the other hand, can use TERREGOV to deliver e-services at minimal cost without have to discard familiar, legacy systems.
An ongoing pilot of the TERREGOV platform in Regione del Veneto, for instance, is helping agencies to provide and coordinate social care tailored to each individual – interoperability produces a more detailed profile of each individual's needs.
In the Polish town of Czestochowa, the TERREGOV platform links databases in the local registry office, the district labour office and the city's social aid centre. Electronic access to these departments and census information will help the city practically to eliminate benefit fraud. Clerks can check for duplicate applications in the system even while the applicant is still sitting in the office.
Benamou believes that the economic benefits and improvements in efficiency that TERREGOV offers should encourage regional authorities to consider its deployment.
“The technologies available at present to achieve this level of regional integration vary from between €1 million and €10 million. The cost of TERREGOV implementation is more in the €100,000s. Interoperability is something that regional and local authorities can now afford, and ill-afford to ignore!”
Christian Nielsen | alfa
Stable magnetic bit of three atoms
21.09.2017 | Sonderforschungsbereich 668
Drones can almost see in the dark
20.09.2017 | Universität Zürich
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
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22.09.2017 | Life Sciences
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22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy